Reducing size for Skin On Frame Qajaq

Submitted byMagotony onThu, 03/28/2019 - 07:59

Hi Everybody,

I'm building my first one Qajaq (skin on frame style). The problem is my design sets the lenght about 17 feet, but my car is small for this size...So I wondered if is possible to reduce the lenght (but not the wide) up to 15 and 20 inches without loose excessive flotation or other important characteristics (guess I loose hidrodynamics).

What would you do?

Thanks for your help.


That is a pretty big change but it would be possible.  You are right at about 10% which many people say is an OK change I tend to disagree.  You would probably loose about 20 to 25  lbs. of flotation depending on the design and you would also change how the boat performs.   Again depending on the design stability would drop a noticeable amount.  If unstable is 80, stable is 100, and very stable is 115 you would probably drop about 7-8 points on that scale.  If you really want to be below 16' and have a boat that performs a certain way I would look for a new design.  Another option is to make sure you use good tie downs front and back and possibly build a bracket that extends beyond the roof rack to add support further out on your boat.


Hi Sbaxter,

Thanks for your reply.

I think will take your advice and change the design. One of them I got in mind is a F1 Kayak (Cape Falcon) -specially for its size-. Could you (or anyone) tell me if it is a good idea for a 5 feet and 9 inches paddler (about 155 lbs of weight). The use would be for a beginner, with a fair stability but open to rolls-. What other models could fit to my needs?

About the idea of using ties is good, but the problem is about a legal normative.


"The problem is my design sets the lenght about 17 feet, but my car is small for this size..."

I know nothing about SOF kayaks, but am wondering why 17' is too big for your car.  Surely weight is not a problem, and a significant amount of overhang on one or both ends is normal for those of us with long boats.  If you are concerned that the spacing between racks is too close, you can get a V-rack system like most of us with surfskis use.Kayaks 




Fri, 03/29/2019 - 12:13


I don't know what country you are in, but in Canada/USA we can carry quite long kayaks on the roof of the car if there is a warning flag attached to the stern, and using good tie-downs at both ends. 

I carry my Thomassen Panthera (5.6 m long) on the roof rack of my VW Golf without any problems.

The F1 kayak was inspired by the Mariner Coaster kayak. I own a coaster and it is a great little boat, especially in rough conditions. 

Good paddlers can roll any boat. I wouldn't describe the Coaster as a 'rolling boat' at all, so you should realize it is nothing like a typical Greenland boat.


Changing only the length of a kayak by 10% or less is usually OK.

See for an excellent discussion.

Hi John,

I'm living at Spain and here we got limits to the length of the carry you got on the roof (the limit is the length of your car plus a 15% more if you add an homologated signal). So we are very limited with that point. Curiosly, I got two cars at home and one of them is also a VW Golf :) but 5,6m on it would make me win a penalty fee more expensive than the Qajaq.

Thanks so much for the link John. I've read it and is really interesting -at least for me-, was looking for somethink similar from long.



Sat, 03/30/2019 - 11:04

It seems you must make a shorter kayak unless you decide to get a boat trailer to pull behind the car.

Many 'Greenland style' qajaqs are quite low volume - narrow with low decks - so you may have a problem if you reduce the length too much.

The F1 would be a better choice, but it is not a rolling boat.